|The Crystal Esprit can host your 200 closest friends for seven days on only $700,000.|
Chartering yachts is nothing new — many boat owners rent their mega-yachts out for months at a time to make up for the high costs of ownership.
Chartering cruise ships? Now that's something different entirely.
Celebrities and the ultra-rich have taken a penchant for renting out entire cruise ships for them and as many as 200 of their closest friends, Bloomberg reports.
"It's like owning a mega-yacht for a week or two," Carolyn Spencer-Brown, editor of Cruise Critic, told Bloomberg.
These cruise ships are on the small side, to be sure, and often are owned by smaller boutique cruise lines like Crystal Cruises.
Crystal's Esprit ship, which the company purchased with the intention that it could be loaned out, can host 62 guests — the perfect size for private cruising, but pales in comparison to the giants from Royal Caribbean, Carnival, or Norwegian Cruise lines, which can host thousands.
A seven-day private cruise with the ship starts at around $500,000 a week.
For comparison, one of the most expensive private yachts in the world to charter, the Triple Seven, only has five cabins and costs $600,000 a week, a number that doesn't include food, drink, taxes, entertainment, fuel, and gratuity like the cruise does.
It also works out well for the cruise line, as that $500,000 adds up to be more than the company would generate from a single seven-day trip with a full ship of passengers paying $6,250 each.
These are no spur-of-the moment bookings, however, and they don't interfere with regular sailing schedules. Often, these types of private rentals are planned up to two years in advance.